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BCCI seeks list wrapper

New Delhi, March 6: The cricket board today pleaded with the Supreme Court not to make public a list that has kept the sub-continent and more guessing.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) requested the court to keep under wraps the list with names of some capped players suspected to have played a role in betting and spot-fixing. The matter is scheduled to come up in the court on Friday.

The list was submitted in a sealed envelope to the judges by a court-appointed committee headed by former Punjab and Haryana chief justice Mukul Mudgal.

The panel report had said: “It thus appears that names of six prominent Indian capped players are available in tapes in connection with dealings with bookies while two of these prominent Indian capped players have also been named by none other than a former president of the BCCI.”

In its response to the court, the BCCI said that as “the material has not been verified to be true, it is most humbly submitted that the material contained in the sealed cover remain with the court and not to be released to the parties”.

“Speculative and baseless charges against leading cricketers have already been made by unscrupulous news channels under the guise of sting operation. Speculation is rife that the sealed cover contains names of some current members of the national team. The court would kindly take steps to staunch any further damage to the image and reputation of innocent cricketers and the BCCI by passing appropriate orders,” the board said.

The BCCI said it would examine the feasibility of restraining current players from holding a stake in sports agencies managing current cricketers and incorporating a provision in the players’ contract. India captain M.S. Dhoni was drawn into a similar controversy.

The board agreed with the panel’s suggestion that all Indian players should be asked to disclose their agents. “These agents would be registered,” the board said, adding the agents should not travel in the team bus.

But the BCCI turned down the panel’s advice that a cricketer should not be employed by a corporate house owning an IPL franchise. “There is no tangible reason why a cricketer should not be employed by a franchise,” it said.

Dhoni is employed with BCCI president N. Srinivasan’s company India Cements which owns IPL team Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

“The purpose behind this is also to encourage sportsmen by giving them a chance of employment in companies on account of their expertise in sports,” the board said.

But the board said the suggestion of conflict of interest in Srinivasan owning an IPL team “is completely beyond the purview of the probe”. As the issue is pending adjudication in Bombay High Court, the board said, it was reserving comment.


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